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Sunday, December 17, 2017

Snickerdoodle Cookies

1 c. shortening                                    1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 c. sugar                                      1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs                                                   2 Tbl sugar
2 3/4 c. flour                                       2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp cream of tartar

1.) Mix the sugar and shortening together.
2.) Add in the eggs and beat until fluffy.
3.) In a small bowl combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Sift the flour mixture into the wet mixture – cut the flour in using a pastry cutter – do not beat. The mixture will be crumbly

 Mix your cinnamon in sugar together in a small bowl. You will roll the cookies in this mixture.

5.) Form the dough into 1 inch balls, roll in the sugar mixture, and place on a cookie sheet 2 inches apart.

6.) Bake at 400 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. Be advised these cookies will puff up and then flatten out, that is normal.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Why is Ambrosia A Southern Favorite

At our house, Ambrosia salad is a must. I can recall my mother making up a bowl of it the first year that me and my now husband celebrated Christmas. That first year together at Christmas I was a girl still living at home and had been dating for only a few weeks. Now all these years later, 31 to be exact January 3, Ambrosia is a must to have served on Christmas day.

So what is ambrosia?? I am sure some of you may know. It is normally a large bowl of sweet gooey white mass filled with orange slices, yellow pineapple and bright red maraschino cherries. So what is it exactly a salad or a dessert. In our family we call it a dessert salad and have had many of them through out the year but at Christmas it is always Ambrosia.

If you have ever studies mythology you may know that ambrosia in Greek means food for the gods. For my husband his memories of his single mother working hard at a hotel buffet and bringing home some of the sweet dessert is very welcoming to him. Many Southerners also welcome the sweet taste that has become a southern favorite. How exactly did Ambrosia become a Southern treat??

Early recipes of ambrosia require ingredients of sliced oranges, grated coconut, and sugar layered in bowl. The South had grown oranges and other citrus fruits since colonial days. Orange production increased after the civil war and the railroad helped make delivery possible. Coconut supply also went up as railroads and small ships delivering the coconuts worked together. So now we know how the simple salad grew but how exactly did it become ambrosia??

The simple 3 ingredient dish would be changed as variations occurred. Pineapple and oranges would be added as well as instructions to serve with whipped cream. While some called for sherry or other liquor. An early 1900s cookbook would display the dish as a fruit salad having oranges, bananas, pinapple, strawberries, coconut and orange and lemon juice. Ambrosia salad was very special and there fore saved for special occasions.

Adding marshmallows would come next. Marshmallows came about in the early 19th century. France was the place that confectioners started whipping and sweetening sap of the marsh mallow plant. The substance was used in candies. Later egg whites or gelatin and cornstarch was used as a base. The early 20th century would see the marshmallow growing in popularity in the United States.

  • 8 ounces frozen whipped topping, thawed 
  • 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1 11-ounce can mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1 8-ounce can pineapple tidbits or crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 cup maraschino cherries, drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, optional
  • 1 1/2 cups fruit flavored marshmallows

  • In a large bowl, stir together the whipped topping and yogurt. Using a rubber spatula, carefully fold remaining ingredients into whipped topping. Chill before serving.

Wreaths Across America

The Third Saturday of December each year has become known as National Wreaths Across America Day. This year that Saturday was today, December 16th. This special day is part of a movement to cover all Veterans graves with a Christmas wreath. Arlington National Cemetery and other veteran cemeteries around the country wreaths were laid. It was a way to remember our fallen heroes, honor those who serve and teach our children about the great sacrifices that are and were being made by our soldiers and veterans. The love of their families and the love to preserve our freedoms. 

The Wreaths Across America movement was started in 1992. It was that year that Worceester Wreath Company of Harrington Maine had a surplus of wreaths. Morrill Worcester had visited Arlington National Cemetery as a boy and had been a reminder of the sacrifice that had been made for otheers to succeed and live life. Volunteers stepped up to place the wreaths on graves of veterans. 

In 2007 the Wreaths Across America was founded. The group is in all 50 states and help lay wreaths at veterans cemeteries to honor our fallen heroes. 

Chocolate Nut Toffee

If you enjoy heath candy bars you will love this recipe. The toffee center and the chocolate exterior is hard to resist. This particular recipe is easier than many I have seen. The nuts are something that many love in toffee so it is your choice to add some in or leave them out. If you choose to add wait til  the recipe is smoothed out and then sprinkle with nuts.

2 c.  butter
2 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 c. semi-sweet chocolate

 In a large heavy bottomed pan, melt the butter, sugar and salt.

Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring periodically. After the mixture comes to a boil continue to cook the mixture until it becomes an amber color, and the temperature has reached 285 degrees F.

Spread the toffee out on a parchment lined cookie sheet, and sprinkle the chocolate chips over the hot mixture. Let the chips set for a bit to melt, and then spread over the toffee. If desired, now you would add in the chopped nuts and press into the mixture.

Place in the refrigerator to set-up. After it has set-up break the toffee into pieces, and store in an airtight container.

National Chocolate Covered Anything Day

Any day is a good day for dipping things in chocolate.Today is a great day as it is national chocolate covered day. Most things taste better dipped in chocolate. Chocolate covered pretzels, marshmallows, cookies, strawberries, rice krispie treats and the list goes on and on your imagination is the only end. Dipping things in chocolate is a simple and easy way to make homemade goodies. 

Melting chocolate in a double boiler is a great way to start. Place small amount of water in the bottom pan just enough water to touch the top pot is needed. Chocolate or melting chocolate should be placed in top pot. Start heating, frequent stirring until chocolate is just melted, turn heat off and dip away. 

Melting chocolate in the microwave is quickest. Place chocolate in a microwave safe dish. The dish will get very hot so be careful. Microwave at 50% for 30 seconds at a time. In between 30 second intervals stir chocolate. Stirring will help you know when chocolate is melting. When almost melted slow cooking time down to 20 seconds , 10 seconds, 5 seconds. Be sure not to overheat. Stir chocolate when done

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Make Christmas Magical with PNP

Christmas Magic can be created and captured with Portable North Pole. Sending personalized videeo messages and calls from Santa from the enchanted North Pole to children young and old can all be created using the Portable North Pole 2017. 

The amazement of seeing Santa in his home, the magical reindeer, and the hustle and bustle of the elves as they prepare for Christmas Eve. This mobile Santa app will create cherished memories in this modern world we live in. Families all over the world will be able to create an adorable video from Santa that you and your child will remember forever. Visit the PNP website or download the mobile app on iOS or Android. 

PNP will give a free video to every child with a new option to purchase a single premium video ($4.99) or upgrade to premium package, including the Video Pass ($9.99) or Magic Pass (13.99). Both packages provide six enchanting video story lines to choose from. Each story line offers five or more minutes of footage to watch. Exploring Santa's workshop as well as an amazing gift wrapping machine are a couple of examples. Create an unlimited number of videos and you will also get a special "Santa's Coming" video to watch on Christmas Eve. The Magic Pass includes HD video downloads and five weekly bedtime videos read by Santa leading up to the big day.

You can save 20% and create Christmas magic with Portable North Pole! Simply use promo code PNP7Family Magic Pass discount at promocode PNP7FAMILY
Video Pass Discount Video Pass EN at use promocode PNP7FAMILY